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1544Albatross Bycatch

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  • Bob Conrich
    Jun 5, 2006
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      Control of illegal long liners in the enormous ocean
      territory around Tristan is beyond the financial
      capabilities of this small community. The conservation
      of Tristan's vast natural resources is an international
      problem requiring international funding. These
      magnificent birds are not the property of governments
      of the islands where they happen to nest or feed. They
      belong to all of us and their management and protection
      is the responsibility of all of us. Accordingly,
      publicity such as the article below is of vital

      Bob Conrich


      5 June 2006
      Fishing line deaths sink albatross
      By Lewis Smith

      Observations have shown that three species of albatross are declining at an alarming rate. Research by the RSPB and BirdLife
      International, which are running a Save the Albatross campaign, also suggests that one is killed by long-line fishing every
      five minutes.

      Research on South Georgia, a UK Overseas Territory, shows that the birds have slumped by a third in little more than 20
      years. The wandering albatross is the worst affected but its rate of decline is closely followed by the black-browed and
      grey-headed albatrosses. Unless this is reversed, or at least halted, the wandering albatross will be extinct on South
      Georgia, one of its most important breeding grounds, in as little as 20 years.

      Long-line fishing, where lines up to 80 miles long have thousands of baited hooks, is thought to kill 100,000 a year. If the
      hooks do not sink, the birds, attracted by the bait, get snagged on them and drown.

      Ben Sullivan, of the RSPB, said: “The decline of albatrosses on South Georgia mirrors declines from other South Atlantic UK
      Overseas Territories, especially the Falklands.”

      Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.